I am trying to construct the the wooden frame as seen below. The brick pillars and wall exist already.

Roof frame

It's pretty much square with each side measuring about 3.5m I am planning on using metal brackets to join everything together as I don't feel confident enough to attempt cutting joins. Once complete I plan to put corrugated roof sheets over the top.

My questions are:

  • What timber would be best suited? I am worried about warping. In South Africa we only seem to get pine.
  • Should I get the timber shop to cut the pieces exactly to size according to my design, or rather get the pieces a bit longer and cut it myself on site, in case the measurements are slightly off.
  • Should I try and seal or varnish the wood before assembling?

I drew the design to scale in SketchUp and I'd be happy to post the file if that would help.

  • If all you get is pine, what's to be decided? If you have other options, please revise to list them. Your second question is subjective, but it shouldn't be difficult to cut timbers on-site. I'd seal any surfaces that will be inaccessible after assembly beforehand.
    – isherwood
    Jan 25, 2019 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


Pine is fine. I'd treat it with a preservative and I do prefer to do this on the ground on sawhorses. However depending on the preservative you use, you may have to handle the wood with rubber gloves. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.

I'd cut the wood myself for sure. Many times its better to cut by putting the material in place and marking rather than measuring. Also, it's a rare lumber yard that I'd trust to cut everything accurately.

If you have a good impact driver or drill, I'd recommend using the special screws they make for with the sheet metal hanger brackets, just easier.

Make sure those posts are sturdy enough for the job.

Your drawing does not show a ledger - a board fastened to the wall to which you'll attach the rafters using metal hangers. The secure attachment of the ledger to the building is very important for safety. Usually you can't count on anchors into brick because you can't be sure of the strength of the brick.

Your building codes may require that the ledger be attached by bolts or large screws through the brick into the framing on the interior. If this is too difficult or impractical, you may be able to add posts under the ledger at the wall, so the posts carry the weight of the roof.

  • 1
    @Sean - I edited the answer, added a couple remarks Jan 26, 2019 at 10:38
  • Thank you - I will definitely research the ledger.
    – Sean
    Jan 28, 2019 at 6:36

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